In 2019, the Orioles’ big wave of the amateur draft was No. 1 overall selection and current No. 1 overall prospect, Adley Rutschman. Changing the spectrum for how the Orioles’ minor league system would be built, Rutschman became the face of the future.
But the Orioles made noise with a strong draft overall, and the next big star in the waiting is current O’s No. 4 prospect, Gunnar Henderson. Henderson was drafted in the second round, and it was there that the young phenom was ready to embark on an up-and-coming career that would garner the attention of not only the brass, but of fans throughout Birdland.
Henderson, taken out of Alabama, is a left-handed hitter, who has managed to notice enough attention that he will be making his third jump through the Orioles’ system, as it was announced today by MASN’s Roch Kubatko that he would be headed to Double-A Bowie for the remainder of the season.
Gunnar started the season at Single-A Delmarva, where a 35-game showing was all that was needed to earn a promotion early. Across his 35 games at Delmarva, Henderson would bat .312 with eight home runs and 39 RBI, collecting 44 total hits. The young infielder’s physical talents and tools were making an impression, and the Orioles decided to promote him to High-A Aberdeen.
Now, Henderson did struggle a bit at the higher level, but over the last month, Henderson has seen his batting average ride 23 points alone. Over his last 20 games, he has collected 25 hits and 17 RBI, while having both seven and nine-game hitting streaks.
Henderson is as gifted a talent we have in our minor league system, having the highest upside next to Adley Rutschman. Possessing a big bat with a power rating of 60 and hitter rating of 55, Henderson is gifted in all aspects. He has strong base instincts and good speed for his size.
Batting .260 across 100 games with 17 home runs and 16 stolen bases, Henderson still has an outside shot of becoming the Orioles’ third 20-20 minor league player in last 40 years and second this season (DJ Stewart & Zach Watson).
The 20-year-old youngster has good range and a strong arm that will allow him to remain as a shortstop or move to another position out of need, not because of lack of ability. Henderson’s ceiling is as high as he can make it.
Henderson has played his way up to another to Double-A Bowie and a possible invite to spring training next year. Let’s congratulate Gunnar on his promotion! Look for this talented young man to be in orange and black sooner than later!
Another Baby Bird learning how to fly, where the the sky is the limit!
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